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HB chief warns motorists: ‘zero tolerance’ in school zone

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

Holmes Beach Police Department Sgt. Mike Pilato, left, record clerk T-Rex Ogle and patrol officer Brian Copeman, behind the sign on Marina Drive, check settings on an electronic traffic aid that alerts drivers on the road of their speed. A sign displays the speed limit. Pilato said the device would be deployed at Anna Maria Elementary School at 4700 Gulf Drive during the first week of school. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy

Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer reminded islanders that Anna Maria Elementary School students are back in classrooms and speeding through the school zone at 4700 Gulf Drive will net “zero tolerance.”

Tokajer also announced that the department will participate in the statewide Labor Day Impaired Driving Crackdown campaign, which has begun and will last through Labor Day.

Police officers will give extra focus to possible driving under the influence, seatbelt enforcement, child safety equipment and speeding.

Tokajer also is reminding visitors and residents that no alcohol, bicycles, golf carts or pets are allowed on the beaches and cautions people to keep valuables locked safely away while at the beach.

His safety tip for the month focuses on parking rules in Holmes Beach, including parking where prohibited by sign.

Parking in Holmes Beach is prohibited on sidewalks, crosswalks, bicycle paths, within 30 feet of a stop sign and within 30 feet of an intersection with a traffic light, stop sign or flashing signal.

Parking is prohibited within 15 feet of a fire hydrant and 20 feet of a crosswalk.

Tokajer reported in his monthly report to the city commission that 140 parking tickets were issued in July.

There also were 13 arrests in July, including an aggravated battery, a DUI and a theft, as well as a juvenile who was arrested for narcotics.

Officers also arrested two people on outstanding warrants.

The police department received 979 calls on its non-emergency line. The calls requiring a responding officer were reported to be 334, including 81 911 calls.

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